Friday, February 28, 2003

I put up a new page for Doll Merchant last night, but I didn't post here about it because . . . well, I don't know. I've just been feeling for the past couple of days that I've had to push myself really hard to do anything, and this includes playing Morrowind.

So what do I do instead? I go about . . . doing other things. Like laundry or pacing or simply staring into space.

I hope I break out of this soon . . .

I talked to Cryptess on the phone last night which was exciting and fun. She's got a really cool job now.

Now, I should probably get ready to go . . . maybe I'll finally shave to-day . . . one of the things I've been putting off is buying shaving cream. Maybe that's the root of all my sluggishness . . .

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

The power went out a couple nights ago whilst I was in the middle of playing Morrowind. In pitch darkness, I successfully dressed myself, found my wallet, keys, and hat. When I was putting my shoes on and one of my laces broke, I even managed to find my spare shoe laces and replace the broken one.

I am Creature of Darkness--kloh-klah!!

Not much else to say . . . I've a lot to do to-day. I've been having some bad dreams that I think are due to the tap water and Victoria the cat has been exceptionally affectionate to me.

I purchased the new Farscape DVD yesterday and now I'm almost broke. It's been a while since I've been that way, thanks to the thousand dollars I got for Christmas. I know, many would say I should have saved it. But you know what? I can't imagine spending it in any way better than how did . . . Making very few large and expensive purchases, the money allowed me, for a few months, to utterly and completely not think about money.

And that, my friends, is the greatest gift of all.

Sunday, February 23, 2003

It is hot in this room.

This night I've been alternating between two compulsions--playing Morrowind and reading Alan Moore's Watchmen.

It's an insideous combo I've stumbled on . . . I play Morrowind for about an hour until I begin to feel feverish and frustrated. Then I switch over to Watchmen, which is breaking my heart, and I go back to Morrowind to sort of get out and get it off my chest.

Anyway. Don't think that this evening's Morrowind revelries are indicitive of a loss of self-control. I'm happy to say my little rule is holding up and I've gotten an extraordinary amount of writing done this past week. I know I've got quantity, and I feel like I've got quality, but I'm of course not sure how objective I am on that latter note.

I finally managed to see Marty on Friday . . . we swapped books and videos . . . That morning I also discovered a strange but attractive young woman in the garage giving a professional looking haircut to a strange man. It's Sunday now and I still don't know the story behind that . . .

I'm incredibally tired for this time of night so I think I'll go to bed now . . .

Thursday, February 20, 2003

To-day seems to be a day for men wandering randomly in the middle of the road.

First one I saw was on a street running parallel to the 8 freeway. He was an old man wearing a baseball cap, and he was moving slowly, zombie-like shuffle, in my lane, towards my oncoming car.

He was waving his arms slowly in the air and he seemed to be yelling something. He wasn't looking at me though. His eyes didn't seem to be looking at anything I was capable of seeing.

Later on that same road was a gentlman in a wheelchair, and after him, a ways down, was a man standing contemplatively in the centre divide.

In another part of town, there was a couple of large, boyish mexican guys holding a boisterous conversation in the middle of the street. I had to swerve to avoid them.

I seriously thought for a moment that there'd been a riot in a nearby asylum. Who knows? Perhaps there has been.


Wrote for a very long time at the best Starbucks in town--I went through two grande lattes there.

It's the best Starbucks in town because it's one of the two that has the old machine, and of those two, it's the most comfortable and easiest to get to. I think word's gotten around because the place was filled with elderly italian men playing poker.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Yay! I've got Paint Shop Pro again!

In honour of that, I did a new Doll Merchant page.

How did I get it back? Well it turned out that all this time I was able to transfer all the exe, bmp, htm, txt, and zip files from the old hard drive to the new one because they're both on the same network!

Was still a headache though.

Got some writing done yesterday, and I think my Morrowind rule could be working. But then, it's only been one day, so we'll see . . .

Monday, February 17, 2003

I have an irrationally good feeling about to-day.

I feel like I might even get something done, like I'll somehow break away from the opium den-like haze of my current Morrowind obsession.

Yes, friends. That's why I haven't posted in a little while. Morrowind. Oh. Morrowind. Morrowind that I played from 4pm Saturday 'til 6am Sunday. Morrowind that I played from 11:30pm Sunday 'til 5am Monday . . .

On Saturday, before starting with Morrowind, I bade myself to type up around 2000 words in my novel in the hopes that all the time I knew I was about to be spending on that game wouldn't make me feel so discusting.

It didn't work. I wrote the words, but I still felt discusting.

I have to find a way to turn this to my advantage . . . I'm thinking I'll impose a rule. True, I've never been very good at acknowledging rules in daily practice, but I'm gonna try this one. It may be my last hope.

And the rule is this:

No Morrowind before 11:30pm, and only if I've gotten some writing done.

But like I said, I have an irrationally good feeling about to-day, so who knows?

Friday, February 14, 2003

So what's Setsuled doing for Valentine's Day? Well, beyond watching the new episode of Farscape, I haven't really got any plans. And I don't intend to make any.

I'm also currently bemoaning the absence of Paint Shop Pro. from this hard drive. I don't think I ever truly realised how integral a part of my life it was. Last night I sat down with paper and pen, all ready to do a page for Doll Merchant, only to remember that without Paint Shop Pro., I wouldn't be able to finish the thing properly. I'm not sure what I'm gonna do.

So I ended up spending last night watching Grave of the Fireflies, which is a good movie, and one which I think the Bush adminstration would do well to watch.

Now I think I'll write stuff . . .

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

I’m having a hard time even now believing last night was real. I’m having a hard time deciding if it was more like a dream or like a nightmare.

It started on Sunday, I guess, when Trisa and I went to see Rasputina. We got to meet Melora Creagor after the show, which was utterly amazing and I still can’t believe that pictures of Melora Creagor appeared on Trisa’s digital camera for me having simply aimed it and pressed its button.

“That’s a big camera,” remarked Rasputina’s adorable lead singer and mastermind when she saw how awkward I was with the thing.

After pictures, Melora signed a pair of posters for us and invited us to come and see her show in L.A. on Tuesday—which she told us would begin at 11pm.

As we walked away, Trisa and I marvelled at what we had experienced just moments ago—we’d actually chatted with Melora Creagor.

We talked about how cool seemed and . . . well, our fan-glorious conversation continued for hours and followed us to Denny’s for dinner.

Trisa suggested that we go to L.A. on Tuesday to see the show Melora had mentioned.

I immediately had a bad feeling about that. I was really hesitant to agree with the plan, but I couldn’t think of a very good reason to say no, so I grudgingly agreed.

When I saw Trisa again for class on Monday, she asked me again if I was sure I wanted to go on Tuesday. We were in a classroom full of people, so maybe it was in the interest of not causing a scene by arguing about it publicly that I said I was indeed sure. Even though I absolutely wasn’t.

But even later, when we were walking away from class, I couldn’t say no because my reservations about the trip were so vague and elusive.

Well, maybe not completely so.

I’d never really been to L.A. before, and I didn’t exactly relish the idea of blundering about an unfamiliar city at night. But Trisa seemed utterly unconcerned when I mentioned this, so I decided I was probably just being a silly stick in the mud or something.

After I parted with Trisa on Monday night, I went home and found that I was extremely anxious. I needed to relax, calm down, calm my nerves, I realised. I watched half of The Fellowship of the Ring, which helped considerably.

And I thought to myself, “I should really be more adventurous. Do I just wanna sort of sag into a vegetable heap in my room in front of the computer forever and ever?”

“Well,” I answered myself, “Now that the computer can play DVDs, that doesn’t sound bad at all,”

“Oh c’mon!” the other part of me said angrily, “Take life by the horns! Go out there and live you young bastard! You can watch DVDs when you’re old,”

And so, at around 7pm on Tuesday night, after I’d had a normal and sedate dinner at my parents’ house, Trisa and I set out on our journey.

I’d gotten my mp3 CD player working with over 200 mp3s on it the night before, so I had this playing whilst Trisa read Chuck Palahniuk’s new book Choke as the night time I-5 north scrolled beneath us.

One unexpected factor was that it was raining.

This, though, did not become terribly bothersome until we finally entered Los Angeles, where the slick, reflective streets made already difficult to see lines almost invisible to me.

The directions Trisa’d printed out from Yahoo! maps were simple. Unfortunately, the actual route could not have been very much further from simple.

All of my instincts, my savvy, and my dexterity was required to negotiate that hellish network of “intersections” and “streets”.

We came to one intersection that connected I still don’t know how many streets from every conceivable angle except the sane regular ones.

Hundreds of pairs of headlights, sketchily representing cars through the curtains of deluge, streamed past on my left as I sat at the green light, waiting for an opportunity to turn left. It was only when I finally did turn left in front of a furiously honking motorist that Trisa and I realised that I was not allowed to turn left, and that the street I’d turned onto was some strange back alley of who-knows-where.

“Hm. I have no idea where I am,” I said.

“Oh my god I’m so sorry,” Trisa was saying, “I almost got us in an accident . . . !”

Not wanting to dwell on this, I told her, “Don’t worry about, just tell me where to go next,”

In the mad roaming that followed, replete with a number of death-defying, tire squealing left turns and mergings through practically imaginary lanes, Trisa’s printed out map was on rare occasions useful.

Finally I spotted something familiar, something that promised to warm body and soul and before Trisa could protest (and actually even despite her protests) I took it.

A parking a garage.

A sweet, well lit, parking garage for something that looked like it might probably be a mall.

“I need a breather,” I explained to Trisa under no uncertain terms, “Maybe we can study the map or something,”

The place proved blessedly to have a Starbucks, where I was comforted by the familiarity of the universal Starbucks décor and menu. And by the bathroom, which allowed me to pee.

Trisa reluctantly agreed to my idea that we continue on foot, and from that point on I actually rather liked L.A.

We passed a Macy’s larger than any I could have imagined on our way out, walking up a steep hill coating with rain beleaguered snails that crunched beneath our feet (“Feel like fortune cookies!” I said in my best Short Round accent, and then said in my best Harrison Ford, “Those aren’t fortune cookies kid,” The performance was lost on Trisa, sadly).

We reached Santa Monica Blvd where this place—the Troubadour—was located. We walked half a mile before we finally found it.

And discovered that the show was sold out.

For some reason, this didn’t really bother me. For some reason, I felt like giggling maniacally, but I didn’t, mainly because Trisa looked horribly upset.

We sat down together on a cushioned bench because the heavy soled boots she was wearing had been slowly pulverising her feet.

After a few moments, I convinced her to join me for dinner.

We wandered in the opposite direction on Santa Monica until we came to a little Italian place where I discovered, to my amazement, that I was still full from eating dinner at my parents’. It had been, after all, only about three hours since I’d eaten, which was mind boggling to think about.

On the walk back to the car, Trisa said to me, “I bet last night you didn’t think you be right here by this time,”

I thought about it a moment, and said, “Actually. I pretty much did,”

On the road back, my mp3 player seemed to play mostly recordings of Jack Kerouac reading, which seemed very appropriate, hearing his voice cutting through the long dark, rainy road south.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Dreamt I was driving lost in the middle-of-no-where beautiful countryside. Lush forests and brilliant green hills and little dirt roads through the trees that were so thick and tall you couldn't see far around most turns.

I came across a combination Inn/Barnes & Noble/coffee shop--not Starbucks, but a place decorated with a lot of gorgeous translucent, glimmering emerald material. I desperately wanted a coffee, so I went inside.

The coffee shop was loaded with frantic people ordering from the bar, the scene reminiscent of what one would imagine Wall Street looked like when the stock market crashed--complete with period costumes.

Working the bar was just one cute, chubby Japanese woman wearing blue jeans and a flannel shirt tied at the middle. She speedily took everyone's orders and brought them their coffees. That is, until I got to the bar. At that point she took out a microphone and began singing.

The songs were cheerful and energetic. I don't remember any of the lyrics. The crowd seemed very pleased.

When she finished her set, she began answering questions from the audience.

She revealed that she was probably going to start working in the quarry, to prove she was as tough as any man. When a guy somewhere to the right yelled out in protest, that she oughtn't endanger herself rashly, she ignored him.

Pointing another guy in the crowd, she informed him that he had a little food on his face by gesturing at her own face.

I then realised that she had chocolate all over her face, as though she'd been stuffing herself with chocolate chip cookies. I wondered why I hadn't noticed this before.

I called out her name, and when she looked at me, I silently drew circles around my own mouth until she got the idea.

Monday, February 10, 2003

I . . . went with Trisa and saw Rasputina this evening. It was a really great show and I got to meet Melora Creagor, and she was really sweet . . .

But I can't think about it right now. Because every last piece of me is still in an utter numb, awesome, drenching, electricuting depression having just discovered a few moments ago that, with the exception of certain Windows system files, every .bmp, .txt, .htm, .zip, and .exe file on the computer was deleted while I was away.

The scope of this is so huge that I can barely comprehend it myself. txt files that contained hundreds of poems and letters and e-mails I've received and written, bmps of drawings I did years ago that are irreplacable, exe files for programmes I'll never be able to get again . . . zip files containing . . . oh gods, my mind shrinks from pondering it.

My only consolation is that doc files were miraculously preserved from this hellfire, so my novels and novellas and short stories are all in tact.

But I've lost a lot this night . . .

I think I shall crawl into bed now and not emerge for a very long time.

Sunday, February 09, 2003

Powerfully tired at the moment. But no matter how tired I ever get, I can never ever get to sleep between 1am and 3am.

Such is the creature that I am.

To-night I found myself wishing that I knew more people who were into art for art's sake. People who pick up a book or go see a movie or buy a CD because they're looking for something great, some new way of looking at things, another go at reflecting the human being. People who can be open to art without needing to have it couched within specific stylistic parameters.

I know . . . it's probably not fair to expect that from everybody. I'd simply like to find more people like that to just hang out with.


I'm going with Trisa to-morrow to see Rasputina. It should be a great deal of fun--I've loved that band for quite a long time, ever since I first stumbled across their website . . . five or six years ago.

I'm sure I'd be a lot more excited if I wasn't so droopingly sleepy. Maybe I can at least try to sleep now . . .

Saturday, February 08, 2003

Can you guess who this is?

Bonus points if you can tell what's different about him.

Friday, February 07, 2003

I'm feeling a little disoriented at the moment.

The past few days I feel like I've been running all over the place at breakneck speed. For two days, I've had need to wake up early and get going immediately. And to stay out all day doing a series of unrelated things . . . Oh gods. I just realised I haven't had a shower in three days, and I'm probably not gonna get one to-morrow.

Y'know, I need to learn how to manage my time better.

Finally got the oil change I needed yesterday. It took three arns--excuse me, hours--but it got done. I spent most of that time writing in a McDonalds.

In fact, I've noticed that to be a trend for the last couple days--waiting. And either reading or writing whilst I'm waiting, as it's been the only time I've had to do either.

And actually, I got a lot of writing done on Thursday--a whole chapter and a half on that one day alone. Which was pretty nice, true.

Now I think I'll go do some Other Things before I fall unconscious.

I'm betting that I shall be able to sleep no more than three hours. Considering that I don't have a job, that's pretty inexcusable.

. . . and oh look! I've got Jury Duty!

Thursday, February 06, 2003

Beginning to suspect that I'm just not built to sleep at night anymore . . . I've spent the past couple hours having a go at it, but no luck.

I even got up early on Wednesday, with the hopes that I'd be just extra tired enough.

And, sure, when I crawled into bed, my body felt satisfyingly leaden. Yet even so, within a short space of time I was lying on my back, my arms stretched upward, compulsively making weird energetic gestures at the ceiling.

I have to get up at 11am to-morrow, no matter what time I actually get to sleep.

And here it is, 4am already . . . well. I think I'll try it again now. Wish me luck!

Once more into the void . . . (I hope).

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

I had a lot of plans for Tuesday that just didn't happen because Tuesday was too quick for me.

I first woke up at around 10:30am because Trisa'd paged me, leaving a voice mail, asking me to call her back if I wanted to have lunch with her.

After ringing her six times, I finally gave up and went back to bed. I was still very, very sleepy, but couldn't sleep for a couple hours due to a leaf blower just outside my window. When I did finally get back to sleep, I didn't wake up again until around 5pm.

I had intended to get an oil change on Tuesday, and meant to go for that first thing.

But, naturally, there were a number of things that had to be done before the "first thing" . . .

There was breakfast, which I ate while my aunt and grandmother ate dinner at the same table. The meal concluded at around 5:40pm.

I then decided to shave, having not shaved for about three days. Finished that at around 6:10pm.

Decided I'd better check my e-mail and found that I had exactly 100 e-mails. Then I decided I wouldn't reply to any of them to-day, figuring it'd be best to let them percolate or something.

Found that a number of my messages had been replied to on Caitlín R. Kiernan's message board and replied to most of them . . .

. . . and by the time I was done with computer dealings, it was 7pm. And since I knew I wanted to see Buffy the Vampire Slayer at 8pm, I dully admitted defeat, decided I'd get the oil change on Wednesday, and instead used the hour gap to go out and buy a latte and a Morrissey CD.

Oh well. So much for my commitments to myself.

It was one of the best Buffy episodes I've seen in a while though, so at least I didn't feel cheated.

After that, I did a page for Doll Merchant, ate lunch and/or dinner, and am now about to work on my novel until sleep comes . . .

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Well here I am again, having once again desired to go to sleep earlier and having once again . . . not.

And why not? Because I'm silly I guess.

It's true, I did have an especially large quantity of coffee to-day. But I, er . . . what was I saying?

I'm feeling really disjointed right now. Where was I going? Who knows? I guess from here I'll just start talking about what a good day I had . . .

What a good day I had! I met this really cool person named Mary with whom I've a lot of tastes in common.

I wrote a bad poem on purpose, and I got to buy Trisa dinner and pay her back for the Tori Amos ticket she bought me.

I gotta be honest with you, I'm feeling a little dopey right now. Really loopy.

Before class, I got real comfortable, sitting on a bench, reading The Brothers Karamazov. In fact, that's it! That's the reason--Dostoevsky's the one responsible for my goofy mood!

Ah, jeez. Maybe it's just because my body's plain exasperated at my inconstant sleeping demands.

Very well, me. I shall go to sleep now. But I can't promise you I won't do twenty things first--ha!

Monday, February 03, 2003

I am so sleepy. I really ought to go back to sleep, but I don't go back to sleep because I get to thinking about all the things I can get done to-day if I continue to stay awake.

I went to sleep at 6am so I really technically oughtn't stay up . . . I wanted to actually even go to bed earlier than 6am but I didn't--due to a combination of the fact that I just remembered I needed to complete a school assignment (I got to make a flyer for the school student creative writing/art journal for which I'm part of the editorial staff this semester) and the fact that I suddenly had an incredibly strong urge to make Chiana desktop schemes. I spent about an hour digging around the web for big, good quality Chiana pictures . . .

Maybe I shall go back to sleep . . . it'd only be healthy, after all.

Saturday, February 01, 2003

I woke up at about 9am and I felt like I when I turned on the computer I was going to see something upsetting.

But I didn't expect to read about the Columbia . . .

I don't really think about NASA very much. Although I've always been interested in the idea space travel. One of the places I most fondly imagine as being my future place of residence is a space station or a space craft that never enters earth's atmosphere.

It's always been a dream for me that's very removed from reality. Maybe that's why I don't think as much about the people actually trying to make it a reality.

That there are people out there whose objectives in life are things like expanding what the human race is, things like helping this species grow into something better . . . It's actually something that gives me hope.

I hope that these people did not lose their lives in a fruitless endeavour. I hope their dream continues to grow . . .
A few minutes ago, I discovered Lucky the cat sitting in the kitchen sink, drinking from a metal pan filled with soapy water. Realising that it would probably make him sick, I gently made it clear to him that he wasn’t to continue drinking from this cache he had found.

It took me a few moments to realise why Lucky was choosing to drink from this pan rather than from his own water dish upstairs.

In fact, I found the cats’ water dish to be completely full—it looked as if no cat had drank from it all day.

The reason; all three cats are accustomed to drinking from Hershey the dog’s water dish, which has gone with Hershey and my aunt to my aunt’s mother’s house in Arizona. For four days.

I’m really not sure how to resolve this situation. I welcome suggestions . . .

My grandmother forbids the cats from using any people dishes (although I did, just a moment ago, fill such a bowl with water and hold it up to Lucky’s face until he had his fill). And I can’t think of where I might find an alternate container this evening that I can place in the spot where Hershey’s bowl is usually found.

I could move the cats’ actual dish downstairs, except I’m not wholly sure that Olivia the cat doesn’t use it upstairs since she hates coming downstairs.

It’s a complex dilemma. And I want only to sleep.

To-morrow, I guess I’ll buy another water dish . . .